tv [untitled] December 29, 2011 9:01pm-9:31pm PST
it is possible. it is a customer convenience, something they have played with in various stores and will be determined as they move forward with the design of the store. >> but i would think your plan right now is not to have this because, obviously, someone who might -- we would need better oversight of the purchase of alcoholic beverages. if they would prefer, -- they would probably prefer to purchase alcohol that way rather than deal with someone who could monitor it. >> that is not possible. it is not possible to scan age- restricted limits. the requirements without a manager and someone over the age of 21 check out anyone making an alcoholic beverage purchase. >> that the concern it could not happen because of the nature of the checkout. the other question i have is there has been a lot of
commentary on the liquor licenses. of course, a trader joe's, from what i understand, will assume the one of the previous tenant. i believe they have hard liquor as well as beer and wine. cvs is seeking only beer and wine. is that correct? >> correct. >> it is good you have that clarification. >> thank you. those are my main questions. i think that answers them, but i have some additional comments. i think sometimes we are getting a little bit too much into -- i know it is part of our conditional use process and sometimes we do with alcohol sales, but these are sometimes abc issues, but i know it is part of the whole process. i do not really see -- i guess my other question, which i should have asked, but maybe somebody from staff could answer this -- this is a little bit of an abc issue -- what i'm hearing said is that cvs was going to
buy -- in order to have alcoholic beverage sales, do they have to buy a liquor license out or not? i think as a right, they are allowed to sell that. maybe somebody could answer that question. >> you have to buy one. >> rick crawford, department staff, there is an off sell beer and wine license separate from an off-sale been -- liquor license. >> do you have to buy one that is existing? >> that i really cannot speak to. they have just said they intend to buy an existing license from some other place, but i cannot speak to the other question. >> presumably, it would be one in the area? mr. genius, can you answer that? >> just a very clear statement,
there are no new licenses in this area, absolutely. whether it is beer and wine or full liquor, you have to acquire one that is in existence. i the proposal is to acquire one and shrink it down to beer and wine only. >> basically, you would have the same number of liquor licenses, but the license would be modified, and it would not allow for the sale of hard liquor. that will be part of the approval, and sure. >> that would be part of the abc process we are committed to and must go through, but the bottom line is there would be the same number of licenses with the license and cvs -- the license and -=-- the license at cvs beig restricted. >> i know there are people saying it should be separate projects, but we are dealing with two firms working together to make it consult economically. whether or not there is a beer
and wine license at trader joe's and also at the cvs really does not add to the problem with alcohol abuse. someone wants to buy beer and wine and abuse it, they will get it at trader joe's. it does not make too is a difference whether they go across the aisle and by and cvs -- and buy at cvs, too. i think hours of operation are similar between the two stores. it is actually limiting less hours than before. you could buy liquor in the entire spectrum of the allowable purchase time under california law. now i understand we are looking at an 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. opening for both of the stores. for those who were concerned about another place to buy liquor, particularly at night, it will not be there. that would be our condition, i think, those hours of operation.
at least at this time. i would like to ask staff if they would like to come back to expand their hours or whether they would be able to do that without separate approval, but that is a point i think we will have to deal with later. then, in terms of the actual -- i think trader joe's is great. i shop there probably more than anyplace else because there is one across the street from us now. they do have some poultry, fish, some other items -- oftentimes, they are prepackaged in various forms. there is some produce. it is not as widespread as a full market, and once a week or whenever it is necessary to do a shock for some other items, you may have to leave the area, but i think trader joe's is generally well priced, i think, and handy and generally pretty healthy products, which is another thing that has not been brought up. almost all of their items are
low sodium, and they have a lot of products that i think are better for you. finally, i think commissioner miguel also commented on the land use issue. in an ideal world, no question. you would like to have housing and in some detail on the ground level. you go without anything for quite a time -- i think there was a plan that was out there early on that was going to have some sort of mixed use situation, but that is not what is before us now. one would presume that if there were a proposal in the next few years that came up with a mixed use development that included housing and retail, aside from the loss of the available shopping, this in no way precludes that from happening. it could be viewed as an interim use, which i think project sponsors would agree with me that that could still happen. i am in favor of this.
i think it answers a lot of the questions and a lot of the needs in the area, and that is an area that it really is underserved by anything close to a grocery store, so this is going to meet a lot of those needs. commissioner borden: going back to the original land use thing, the first question i asked was what happened to the plan. i think we were all looking forward to seeing a mixed use project, but i think we recognize the realities of the financing field going on with the city. so this is what has come together. i personally think that the idea is a compliment, and the reason why is because i shop at trader does come -- i shop at trader joe's, but i also have to shop the other place. i grew up with cvs.
my parents go there quite frequently. i'm very familiar with them. what i'm disappointed about is that it seems to be a breakdown in communication with cvs and the community. i'm not really sure what went wrong. there does not seem to be genuine outrage -- genuine out reach -- genuine outreach. you said you had been at community meetings. how many community meetings did you actually attend? >> the large community meeting was prior to my involvement. we did sit down with middle polk, lower polk, and the merchants association. we came right -- we came up with some ideas to give the neighborhood some comfort. a list of licenses was actually from myself. i said an e-mail letter with my contact information and did not
receive a single phone call. >> -- commissioner moore: -- commissioner borden: i love the job shop. is that still on the meeting? >> what would it was asked about problems. commissioner borden: it was a list of asking who are the problem liberalizes is. >> we went out to every liquor license, everyone we knew we could not obtain a license from -- safeway, and it like that -- anyone like that -- was eliminated. we sent a letter to every other business asking if they were interested in selling their license. we then went back to lower polk, the only group that reach out to us and was willing to have conversations about mitigation measures and give us a short list of licenses that were real problems. commissioner borden: sounds like you have been to one meeting.
>> i have also been to the middle polk. they are a specific organization at the coffee shop. commissioner borden: i would encourage you to have people on the ground, regularly meet with people in the beginning. the biggest hurdle, independent of the issue about whether or not there is a liquor license included -- the issue is that there was not adequate neighborhood outreach. in san francisco, that is very much required to be successful. you want to be neighborhood partners, and it is regrettable that they did not come together that way. i think they are a nice complement to each other, but it puts us in a bad position as commissioners because we really respect the community and their input and the sort of issues because it directly impacts them. >> to be clear, it is disheartening for me as well. we have always held neighborhood
meetings and expand a notification beyond requirements. my card is always given. my cell phone number is always there. commissioner borden: are you locally headquartered? >> i work out of los angeles and have an office in berkeley as well. unfortunately, there were no requests. this is somewhat news to me. >> just to follow-up, and then i will wait for everyone else. i think the neighborhood group said there was no one from cvs itself. i think there is sometimes a big -- sometimes it becomes an issue if you send your lawyer or a representative, even though you may be authem, or something lik. there is a perception that that is great, but where is the company? i think that is what i heard.
commissioner borden: you can sit down. i think you have answered enough questions, but i think that is something we need to get on the record. i was less than enthusiastic about the liquor license, but when it was brought the idea of not taking the trouble with a license, i thought that would maybe be ok, but then i hear this list that makes me freak out. i know there was a letter out to the commission. because i understood that the supervisor's office was working on the issue. i know technically, the liquor license issue is not before us today. it is to be used for the project, and there was some hint that the supervisor's office was working on it. i just wanted to hear whether indeed the supervisor's office
has been involved on this particular point about the troubled liquor license. my only thing was that there were people in the community who said that they would prefer not to weigh in on the issue because there were other things working behind the scenes, and i just wanted to understand what that was. >> yes, i appreciate the question. because they are behind the scenes, and if you are trying to acquire a troubled liberalizes, you did not want everyone to know which ones you are trying to get because if they do know, then they will ask a large price. we do have an number in our neighborhood. we are different than middle polk. we have more issues and more trouble spots. your question was if we have been talking to supervisors, and, yes, we have. matter of fact, last night, i was in conversation with supervisor chu on this very
issue. we feel it is equal. commissioner borden: my thing is i'm supportive of the projects. i think they complement each other because of the lack of things that trader joe's provides the cvs -- that cvs can provide. i do not know if the hospital provides pharmacy, but i think it does not. it is convenient for people to be able to walk across the street to access a pharmacy. i also know now that walgreen's has taken over in the neighborhood. walgreen bridging the right it does not exist anymore. -- rite aid does not exist any
more because walgreen's purchased them. in terms of the liquor license, my whole issue is that we are not voting on it today, but i think the supervisors are working on something and of members of the community are working on something, i do not but i think we can make a strong statement on how we feel about that. but i think it is important to let the community process play out. i also believe the supervisor will do what is in the best interest of all the neighborhood groups on the issue, and i would rather leave the decision in his hands, since there seems to be something at play. commissioner fong: i am actually in strong support of the project as proposed, and i will tell you why -- the former tenant offered alcohol. 30,000 square foot space -- it
is huge. you could play football in there. the stores are going to divide it up. if you counted the linear feet of alcohol that were there compared to what it is going to be, it will be probably about the same. it will not be statistically more or less. i see this as a one-to-one exchange of what was there before and what will be there potentially in the future. it does not strike me as the previous 10 it was a trouble spot with people hanging out and drinking outside. i could be wrong about that, but it did not strike me as a trouble spot. it is very importantly near st. francis hospital, which is one of our own emergency rooms in the northern part of the city. to have a pharmacy with parking, in particular, should one of a sprained our ankles and need to get emergency medication right after the emergency room, i think it is a perfect location -- should one of us sprain our
ankles. as one of the speakers mentioned, when something is closed and the lights are not on, it does attract nuisance, often. i am supportive of it as proposed. i would make a motion to approve. commissioner miguel: i was looking over the conditions of approval. not seeing any hours. >> no, there's no -- no, there was none, but the commission could certainly -- commissioner miguel: i understand that. i just was not certain whether i missed anything. can the commission imposed a condition of no liquor license? is that legally in available -- is that legally available? >> i do not
>> i do not know a reason why you would not. >> it is my understanding that the liquor license decision process is completely within the control of the state process that is established and that the abc has complete control over that period the commission can impose commissions related to land use issues such as hours of operation. but the application for the liquor licence is separate and the city entities that represent the city and give recommendations to the abc as to conditions on any liquor license or whether a liquor licence should be granted, so the commission could recommend to the board of supervisors that it recommend to the abc not to grant a liquor license in this
particular situation. that is my understanding. >> if i could follow that up for a second. does that mean that when this commission has approved a story going in that has stated it is not going to have a liquor license, it could, six months later, without anything to do with the city, apply for one and obtain one? >> i think it is the zoning -- i am not sure about that. if the commission would like to take a recess, i can find out the answer to that question to. president olague:
>> i do not see her back but maybe you can go for with some more comments. commissioner moore: i wanted to comment generically on the issue of a liquor license. we have had quite a few projects where the issue of overconcentration of liquor licenses was discussed with us even with people who had a full- service restaurant asking to add that to make the place more rounded out. the police department tells us of some of the observations that have had in response to an overconcentration. people from the community have come by in public comment or related to other projects that are in front of us to describe the noise and whatever impacts.
i want to remind us of that. that has been an issue for us to. i am very, very glad to see trader joe's coming back. we have spent a lot of time on the sutter st. van ness corridor product -- project with trader joe's in that particular case, they did not have any parking. there is a good feeling about the store. i am perfectly comfortable with trader joe's moving into the location and getting a liquor license. that seems to be very much in tune with the grocery store that had won. trader joe's is a little bit different. that is a no-brainer.
packaging two formula retail projects into one, i would agree with commissioner miguel. i would have expected that they would have approached us not as a package deal, but it would have understood the sensitivity of adding formula and retail of this scale, it is a question. starbucks, takes -- starbucks takes a fraction of the space of what is in front of us. i am not very comfortable seeing this all packaged in one. i would share the concern about the potential of an additional liquor license being allocated to this location. if you can buy it at one, why do you have to compete among each
other? but that does not make any sense at all. i might have missed read -- my understanding was trader joe's was going to be operating at the normal opening hours of 10:00 and the closing time for what i did read, the cbs -- the cvs was trying to be 24 hours. that does not work at all. i have lived in the adjoining neighborhood for years. they share with each other the night service -- the idea of saying that the 24-hour open pharmacy would add something -- the other pharmacies are too close and communicate to the public when they are open at
night. i do not think we need an additional one. the corner has always been problematic. it is going to be even more problematic given that the parking lot, which is more suburban than for men has a huge parking lot in front of it. there have been questionable activities for the last 30 years i have lived in the never. i do not want to describe any because that would be unfair. this has been a difficult location for a 24-hour store for many years. while it will make physical improvements, the habits of people with a location like that are hard to change. i do not think that a 24-hour store like cvs in that location adds anything to the neighborhood.
president olague: i was noticing that a representative from the office of supervisor chu was here. do you have anything to add to the discussion? >> and afternoon. -- good afternoon. very briefly, i am interested in seeing your city attorney coming back. president chiu supports seeing ape project go in at this site. he knows they have a reputation for pulling off these products quickly. there was discussion about whether it would be a multi-year project. we are pleased that the down time of this site is likely to be quite low comparatively under this proposal. also, president chiu is supportive of trader joe's. he has heard concerns from the
neighborhood about cvs, the concentration of drug stores in the neighborhood, but also realizing from the competition arguments expressed today in the staff report, i do think that the issue of the liquor license is incredibly corny. president chiu has heard from their record groups who support the project and the buying of the licenses and the strong concerns you have heard from some of the neighborhood groups today. our understanding going into today's hearing -- i do not want to preempt the city attorney, but the commission does not have the condition to make it related to the liquor license. we see going for as the liquor licence being a significant issue we need to deal with going forward. that being said, if you received a different advise, it is up to you how you deal with that issue. the broader issue of liquor
licenses at pharmacies or drug stores is one that we need to work on. clearly, you start to see the case-by-case issues and realize there is a systematic issue we need to address. the commission has made similar policies that they have addressed regarding to that or other products. that is a big picture issue. we do not want to see the site on occupied because of that broader issue. there is a needle to thread there. i hope i covered some of the issues before you. president olague: thank you. commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: ok. thank you. i agree. i might be more concerned about the comments regarding whether or not we will have jurisdiction over the liquor situation or
not. if this were a freestanding, separate, new liquor outlet somewhere a distance away from another one, there might be some concerns. but a few steps away from another establishment that is going to be open the same hours and if someone really wants to buy beer and wine, they will simply, if they do not buy it at cvs, they will walk a couple of steps and buy it at trader joe's. i do not see how this will impact a number of people on the street creating disturbances. it is not an issue for me whether or not we have jurisdiction. there were some comments made by commissioner moore about packaging. i think commissioner miguel also commented on that. we approved this on california street, if i am not mistaken. it did come up separately. it ended up the same kind of
thing even though it underwent a different kind of hearings. it was a very similar situation. the reason was for the same reasons it is being presented today, they did not feel they could occupy the entire space and they were partnering with cvs to occupy the other half. we also talk a little bit about neighborhood input. i am looking at petitions from -- six pages worth of signatures, most are people in support of this project, most of whom have addresses that are within walking distance. while we appreciate people coming from the neighborhood expressing their opinions, they are not the exclusive neighborhood. there are some of the members of the neighborhood of. a lot of the people and the neighborhood were not able to come to the series but have expressed their opinions through a petition that was given to us in support of this particular